OGCC Secretary Update

Mick Thomas

Division Administrator – Minerals, Public Trust, and Oil & Gas

Secretary to the Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

This update was sent to the Commission on Saturday, March 21.

Current Items:
Pipeline / Gathering Line
Field Status
Class II Application
Impact of COVID-19 Response
News Article(s) of Interest

Pipeline / Gathering Line
The Division is in regular communication with the operator regarding pipeline construction. Currently pipeline construction is ahead of schedule due to favorable weather and very few delays. The operator anticipates pressure testing could commence as soon as next month. I want to commend Program Manager James Thum for his communication with the operator and keeping the Division updated.

Field Status
While the pipeline / gathering line construction continues, the operator has made the decision to shut in the field effective March 20th. This is due to depressed oil and gas prices, and also the undulation of business operations due to COVID-19. The plants in the Payette field will also be shut down. Field staff will continue to be on site to provide security and ensure safety in the near term, and to bring operations back online when the market stabilizes.

Class II Application
The Class II approval process is moving forward but may be delayed due to the impact on federal agencies from the COVID-19 response. The technical review of the application has already been completed but staffing and workload shifts at the EPA’s office could take the approval date into fall 2020. The department continues to monitor the application / approval process and will update the Commission as it develops.

Impact of COVID-19 Response
The Governor’s office in cooperation with State and Local Agencies has provided excellent direction over the past two weeks. The IDL was prepared with an updated COOP (Continuance Of Operation Plan) going into this response, so only minor adjustments were needed to follow the directions given (primarily regarding remote work policies).
The Mineral, Public Trust, and Oil & Gas Division took steps last year to ensure our staff had the capacity to work remotely. Because of this preparation we were able to act quickly in following new recommendations while maintaining full operational status. Whether staff are working remotely or coming in, they are following the directions given by the Governor’s office and the Director. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.

News Article(s) of Interest
Alta Mesa’s buyer backpedals as financing dries up:
https://rigzone.com/news/alta_mesas_buyer_backpedals_as_financing_dries_up-12-mar-2020-161360-article/

Saudi Arabia increases oil output to record high:
see attached pdf: SLTrib record high

Oregon: US panel approves pipeline, natural gas terminal in Oregon:
http://www.startribune.com/us-panel-approves-pipeline-natural-gas-terminal-in-oregon/568932282/

Colorado: Federal judge tosses forced pooling oil lawsuit:
see attached pdf: E&E CO pooling